Saturday, June 19, 2010

#97: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

433 Pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
ISBN #0-553-27391-4

Synopsis: A story that focuses on four generations of women of the Trueba family and their dreams, hopes, love affairs, spiritual yearnings and connections with each other.

Reasons for being banned/challenged: Sexually explicit and offensive language

So far, the book sounds interesting. I've seen several people's responses to this book... some have found this book boring and irrelevant while others have found this book to stimulate them mentally. Wonder which side of the fence I'll be on....???

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Saw Esau: A Summary

I apologize, dear followers, that it's taken me so long to finish this book. It's not a difficult read. I have just been extremely busy. Now, on to what you came here for.... =)

Summary: The book is a collection of rhymes and poems collected from children and schoolyards. There are drawings to coincide with many of the rhymes in the book.

Banned Reasons: I could find nothing definitive while searching for reasons. One reason I did find was that it is challenged/banned is for the artwork depicted throughout the book.

I must say that, this time, I do agree with the reasons for being challenged/banned. Some of the rhymes are disturbing. And, I'm still young enough to realize that if they're disturbing to me as an adult, they would definitely have a strong appeal to children. Here is one example:

I one my mother.
I two my mother.
I three my mother.
I four my mother.
I five my mother.
I six my mother.
I seven my mother.
I ate my mother.

Now, on it's own, it doesn't sound that disturbing. I mean, what child is actually going to eat their mother? The artwork that goes with this poem, though, is what gives this rhyme its disturbing quality. It's eight different depictations of a baby sitting on his mother's lap to breast feed (picture 1) and then ends up swallowing her whole until he's big and fat from eating her (picture 8).

Another example of the rhymes in this book is:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
The shorter the skirt
The better the view

There's no artwork that coincides with this rhyme, but .... seriously??? For an adult, this might be a cute little ditty. But, for a child? A child is supposed to be innocent (even though we all know that lately, most children's innocence doesn't last very long).

Overall: I would recommend that children not read this book. All of the rhymes in the book have a darker side to them. Some of the artwork depicts nudity and a viciousness that children do not need to see.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#98: I Saw Esau by Iona & Peter Opie

Book Info:

160 Pages
Reading Level: Ages 4 - 8
ISBN# 0-7636-1199-9

Synopsis: A collection of rhymes used by children on school yards.

Reason for being Banned/Challenged: Offensive illustrations

Notable Comments by the Author in the Introduction: "They (the rhymes in the book) were clearly not rhymes that a grandmother might sing to a grandchild on her knee. They have more oomph and zoom; they pack a punch. Many are directly concerned with the exigencies of school life: the need for a stinging reply when verbally attacked; the need for comic complaints in the face of persecution or the grinding drudgery of schoolwork; the need to know some clever rhymes by heart, with which to win popularity."